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Park Ridge police arrest three linked to pickpocket crew By Alex V. Hernandez Staff Reporter

Authorities in Park Ridge and Northbrook arrested three women suspected in a pickpocket enterprise that targeted dozens of people across the northwest suburbs. “They were organized,” said Park Ridge Police Deputy Chief Lou Jogmen. “It was a criminal enterprise that affected a lot of people.” Authorities became aware of the pickpocket operation when reports of wallets stolen from restaurant patrons began appear at multiple northwest suburban police departments about six months to a year ago. A pattern emerged when several police reports featured wallets that were taken from restaurant patrons who hung purses over the back of their chairs or left them in the adjacent seat. Northbrook officials described the “pickpocket crew” as “prolific” in its use of stolen credit cards used to purchase gift cards or electronics.The crew then would attempt to resell the items they had purchased with the stolen cards. Area detectives from Park Ridge and Northbrook participated in a meeting of a task force run by the

MAINE Continued from page 3 residents of the unincorporated area should be made aware if plans for future development are put together, adding the other half the equation is looking into the cost of the absorbing the area’s infrastructure. However, many other officials consider the potential added property-tax revenue not worth the trouble. They cite the cost of repairing the area’s infrastructure, absorbing the area’s police and fire protection, as well as its code enforcement and construction permitting services as the reason they haven’t tried to absorb the unincorporated area. Specifically Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt said the area’s issues with severe flooding and street gangs would need to be resolved before Park Ridge could consider annexing anything. “This time, they aren’t asking us to annex land, but to take over services, like police protection,”

Special Prosecutions unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office July 22 to form a plan to deal with the crew. Then on July 23, a mall security guard at Northbrook Court saw suspects believed to be involved in the pickpocket operation and notified police. Northbrook police say they took five people into custody, resulting in three arrests that day. Park Ridge detectives were then able to link two of the three arrested to two thefts from patrons of Uptown restaurants between May 22 and July 13, Jogmen said. Star L. Davis, 44, of Riverdale was charged with a felony count of being an organizer of a continuing financial crimes enterprise, police said. As Davis is believed to be the crew’s leader, she faces additional charges for theft and theft by deception, officials said. The second suspected crewmember is Tracy Musiala, 22, of Hoffman Estates. She was charged with one felony count of having a continuing financial crimes enterprise, police said. Later, Northbrook police identified the third suspect arrested as Angel R. Wingard, 48, of Chicago. She’s charged with one felony count of having

said Schmidt, who is skeptical of the plan. He doesn’t think it makes sense for Park Ridge to take responsibility for additional areas in need of flood infrastructure that also has a gang problem. There is a precedent for unincorporated areas without a strong retail center being skirted by nearby municipalities in the northwest suburbs. Before its eventual incorporation into Chicago in the 1960s, the strip of land that comprises the 6500 block of Milwaukee Avenue was itself unincorporated. Nicknamed the “Sin Strip,” it was considered a lawless area to the south of Niles that village police and other officials were powerless to regulate for years. Maine Township Supervisor Carol Teschky said she is still opposed to the annexation of unincorporated Maine Township, saying people who have chosen to live in an unincorporated area do so for “their own reasons.” “I like it the way it is,” she said, adding, however, she does feel the area needs more help with its flooding situation.

a continuing financial crimes enterprise. Jogmen said more charges in relation to the pickpocket

crew could be forthcoming, as authorities believe there are more people involved. As of press time only Davis, Musiala and Wingard

had been charged. All three will appear at the Cook County District 2 courthouse in Skokie in the coming weeks.

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Niles 08-22-13

Niles 08-22-13  

Niles 08-22-13